As the beauty industry continues to profit off of socially constructed insecurities, the vast majority of women may feel pressured to remove their body hair. Last year one million people sought laser hair removal in the United States, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. With an image of perfectly hairless skin in mind, women are pouring resources into these types of treatments just because they feel like they have to.
One fitness blogger is trying to change that.
In a recent viral video, blogger Morgan Mikenas shared that she has not shaved her legs or armpits for a year. With more than 700,000 views and counting, Mikenas says in the video that she did this to become more comfortable with her natural self.
“I haven’t shaved my legs for over a year, and I will never go back. The purpose of this video is not to shame people who do shave,” Mikenas wrote in the video description. “I just want to speak on how it’s helped me become more comfortable within myself, and maybe inspire others to do something that makes them feel confident.”
Pop Sugar reports that Mikenas said that she was bullied in middle school for having hairy legs. She said in the video that she did not feel beautiful when she had hair on her legs.
“When I would let my leg hair grow out in the past I would feel dirty, I would feel kind of ashamed because I just didn’t feel feminine,” she said. “So, then I would feel obligated to go shave my legs so I would feel good and feel sexy, but not anymore. Honestly I frickin’ love my hair, I love my body hair, I love the hair that grows on my body. I just like being my most natural and human self.”
Mikenas isn’t alone. According to recent surveys, about 99% of American women remove some amount of hair from their bodies, and many do so every single day. Mikenas clarified in the video that she is not trying to pressure anyone to stop removing their body hair. Rather, she is aiming to encourage her followers to embrace their true selves.
“I’m not trying to make all of humanity just stop shaving their armpits and leg hair anymore,” she said. “I just want to inspire others in what works for you, what makes you feel the most comfortable.”